THROGGS NECK, N.Y. (Oct. 30, 2010) – The Maritime football team defeated Norwich University, 20-2, Saturday afternoon at Reinhart Field to capture the 2010 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference Championship. The Privateers remain undefeated, improving to 9-0 overall on the season (6-0 ECFC) as they hand the 2009 ECFC Champion Cadets just their second loss of the year. Norwich falls to 7-2 (4-2 ECFC).
"I'm so proud of the team for reaching our primary goal," said head coach Clayton Kendrick-Holmes. "All season long we have been focused on one day at a time and one game at a time. Our defense stepped up big with the turnovers today and we settled down in the second half and took over the game. It's been a lot of work over six years and a lot of players and coaches have been a part of building this football program. It is really rewarding to get to the top!"
The first quarter was dominated by the defenses. Norwich turned the ball over twice on an interception by sophomore linebacker Keith Barnes (Westbury, N.Y./Westbury) on the opening drive of the game and a fumble forced at the Maritime 33-yard line by junior linebacker Jonathan Carberry (New York, N.Y./New Utrecht) that sophomore Ricky McClain-DL (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh) recovered. However, both of the ensuing Maritime drives resulted in missed field goals. The first quarter ended without a score.
In the second quarter, Norwich got on the board first when they forced a Maritime safety by blocking a punt in the end zone. The Cadets went ahead 2-0, but on the ensuing drive fumbled again as freshman Lumbus Burrell-DB (Upper Marlboro, Md./Dr. Henry A Wise) forced the ball loose at the Maritime 40-yard line. Senior John Gagliano-RB (Islip Terrace, N.Y./St. Anthony's) ended an 11-play, 60-yard drive when he ran in a four-yard score to put the Privateers ahead 6-2 with four seconds remaining in the half, a lead Maritime went into the locker room with.
The Privateers got the ball first to start the second half, but went three-and-out. On the Cadets first play of the second half, junior Jason Burry-DE (Attica, N.Y./Attica) forced and recovered a fumble then return the ball 14 yards to the Norwich six-yard line. One play later, Gagliano ran in his second score of the day, followed by a two-point conversion ran in by sophomore quarterback Joe Dickey (Middletown, N.J./Middletown North) to put Maritime up 14-2.
After a five-play, 19 yard drive by Norwich ended with a punt, the Privateers took over the ball at their own 19 yard line. Maritime manufactured a great six-play 81 yard drive that ended when sophomore running back Fritz Jean (Palm Coast, Fla./Palm Coast) rushed for a seven yard touchdown to put the Privateers ahead, 20-2.
The Privateers took over momentum in the game, and on the ensuing kickoff Maritime recovered a surprise on-side kick when place kicker Madison Leary (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) kicked the ball 15 yards and then fell on top of it to give the home team the ball right back. After another punt, Norwich got the ball and on their very first play again committed a turnover when sophomore linebacker Pat Lasher (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) picked off a pass. Maritime stopped both of the Cadets drives in the fourth quarter and got the ball with 5:08 remaining in the game and was able to run the clock out to earn the victory.
Maritime scored two touchdowns off of turnovers in the contest as the squad took advantage of the Cadet's six turnovers on the day (four fumbles and two interceptions). The Privateer defense held Norwich to just 179 yards of total offense. Dickey was the game's leading rusher with 92 yards on the ground, while senior Greg McGough-RB (Edgewater, Md./Blessed Trinity) picked up 77 yards on the ground. Dickey was also 2-for-4 in completions for 36 yards.
For Norwich, Andrew Fulford ran for 67 yards, while quarterback Kris Sabourin was 1-for-6 with two picks.
The Privateers will now travel to the nation's capital for its final regular season game next Saturday, Nov. 6. Maritime will square off against ECFC-foe Gallaudet at 6 p.m. at the Bison'sHotchkiss Field. Gallaudet has a 5-4 overall record and is 3-3 in conference action thus far.